Nonprofit Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. Officially Announced as Vital Resource for Children Living in Blended Families

Scottsdale, Ariz. (July 16, 2012) – One year after the tragic death of her son, Max, Dr. Dina Shacknai announced the formation of Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E., a nonprofit foundation focused on the protection of children in blended households. At a press conference earlier today, Shacknai and members of the nonprofit’s board discussed the importance of Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. and its mission.

Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. is intended to be a resource center serving parents, children, the public, caregivers and lawmakers to ensure the safety of children living in multiple households. Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. provides: Hope, Outreach, Understanding, Safety and Education. The foundation will be a lifeline for parents who might otherwise not have the ability or resources to navigate the system to protect their children on their own.

“Regardless of the caregiver, a child’s home environment should be one of safety and security,” said Dr. Dina Shacknai, founder of Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. “My hope is that through Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E., we can create a voice for the children of blended families and a resource for parents dealing with the challenges unique to this family structure. Kids have the right to feel safe in all their homes – parents and lawmakers have the obligation to enforce this.”

“There is currently no law in Arizona requiring that each parent with whom children spend time provide the other parent background information about any other person caring for the child in their households,” said Angela Hallier, Managing Partner Hallier & Lawrence PLC. “In fact there seems to be a presumption that a parent will make good choices about who they involve themselves with or who cares for their child during their parenting time. Unless a parent has the ability to perform their own investigation, or a child is of the age and maturity to be their own advocate and to express concerns to the other parent, there is limited opportunity for a parent to ‘quality control’ the individuals caring for their child.”

“I’ve dealt with this problem first-hand and frequently in my work as a family law attorney,” Hallier continued. “The broad mission of Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. will help with this and other issues to ensure a child’s safety in each of their homes and assist parents in co-parenting.”

Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. is intended to educate lawmakers and community leaders of the need for children to feel safe in all homes in which they live. Parents, counselors, teachers, attorneys, judges and police officers are also in need of resources to help insure the safety of the children in blended households. Maxie’s H.O.U.S.E. has been developed to fill that void.